Despite the name, Crazy Bikers 2 isn’t all that crazy. Sure, the characters themselves look wacky enough, but the gameplay is really quite straightforward. You race up and down hills while maintaining your balance in a manner similar to the Trials series, and occasionally attempt flips and wheelies to activate a turbo boost. This requires some calculated risk-taking, but the essence of the game is getting to the finish line as quickly as possible and not falling over while you’re at it!
When playing in the singleplayer mode, you’ll be racing against five other computer-controlled bikers who don’t tend to make a lot of mistakes. However they also don’t make use of the turbo boost, which puts them at a severe disadvantage and usually means that you can take first place without too much difficulty. Even if you fall over, you’ll be returned to a nearby checkpoint along with the other racers, so defeating them isn’t much of a challenge. This means that your real contest comes from the Game Center leaderboards instead, which show your global rank and how you compare to your friends’ times.
The clown’s ahead by a nose.
The leaderboards might have stirred up some fierce competition, but unfortunately they’ve been sabotaged by the fact that players can purchase immediate turbo boosts using credits. We’ll get onto the credits system in just a moment, but the result is a set of leaderboards dictated by how many turbo boosts have been used and not by player skill. The turbo meter is usually activated after performing a set number of tricks, but if you purchase enough turbo boosts, you could then spam them from start to finish and achieve a much faster time than other players. With broken leaderboards and non-player racers that can’t keep up, Crazy Bikers 2 loses its competitiveness.
There is a head-to-head multiplayer mode, but at the moment it’s almost unplayable. In our experience, the Game Center matchmaking usually found an opponent within 20-30 seconds, but repeatedly told us that the other player had apparently already disconnected. When we eventually did manage to start a race, we then found that they could suffer from heavy lag issues, or once again, we’d be informed that the other player had disconnected. Spawn Studios are aware of this issue and are currently working on a fix.
Honk the horn.
The original Crazy Bikers is free to download and initially offers four playable tracks, in the hopes that you’ll enjoy them enough to pay $0.99 to unlock the rest. Crazy Bikers 2 takes a different approach. Once again the game is free to download, but this time the tracks and riders have to be unlocked by spending credits. You’re rewarded a small number of credits as you play or you can buy them via in-app purchase. Early tracks and racers are cheap enough, but the by become expensive quickly, and the fastest racer is insanely expensive. Some players may take this as a personal challenge and try to unlock the entire game by repeating races over and over again, but to us that doesn’t sound like much fun.
The game also relies heavily on advertisements, although you can pay another $0.99 to remove them. If you’d rather not, you can expect banners at the top of the screen while racing and a full-screen advertisement upon the completion of a race. They’re not incredibly distracting, but we would have preferred to have seen the credits system or the advertisements as a way of monetizing Crazy Bikers 2, and not both.
There’s probably a half-decent racing game here, but it’s buried under a bunch of issues right now and until they’re resolved, we can’t recommend Crazy Bikers 2.